More Ideas

I just got back from camping in Star Valley with a friend's church activity, and like all my camping trips (and road trips), I got some thinking done.
I left on thursday, and at Swan Valley I followed an old dirt road that follows the South Fork of the Snake River all the way up to Palisades Reservoir. I found plenty of fire pits to photograph, and came up with some ideas about the project. Up until now, much of the photographs that I have made have been pretty romanticized. I think that for some of the images, it is appropriate, while others probably shouldn't be romanitcized. It really depends on the environment where the fire pit is located, but til thursday, I hadn't really taken that into consideration. One thought I had about fires and fire pits (and this is where the surrounding environment comes into play) is that fire can be destructive, and yet, it can also be relaxing. I recall many camping trips, and many nights when I worked up at scout camp when we would have a fire burning, and how much of a stress reliever it was. On the other hand, if not given the proper respect, and especially in this area, fire can be a very dangerous thing. So where am I going with this? I guess my point (at the risk of sounding a bit redundant) is that I finally realized that this project will require special attention to other details such as quality of light, etc..., whereas with the parks project, I didn't have to worry about that--or maybe I did need to and didn't, or I did worry about it, and didn't really realize it. Either way, I think overall, the parks project has been successfull.
Another thought that I had is that it's hard to make a large number of images of something so specific as a fire pit, and have them all look interesting, and have a good variety of images in compisition especially. I remember during a critique for my BFA class Darren more or less warned me of something that had started happening (and still occurs at times, unfortunately). He warned me of becoming too formulaic in my work (i.e., with compositition). I had found a composition that worked well, and was using that same basic composition in many images. As I was setting up for the first photograph of the fire pits I made on thursday, the composition started looking exactly like the one that I have posted below. So, I forced myself change the composition. The two still probably will end up looking a little similar, but as I said before, it's a little difficult keeping a good variety in this project as far as where I decide to put a small circle of stones in the image area.
I also went into Jackson Hole, Wyoming on thursday and went to a couple of art and photo galleries. There is a new photo gallery there called the Oswald Gallery
. There were several orginals by Ansel Adams, Edward Curtis, Henri Cartier Bresson, Paul Capinigro, Yousef Karsh, Hiroshe Watanabe, and many others of my favorite photographers. It was incredible (as it always is) to see the originals. They have so much more depth and richness and allure to them. While I was in an artist's watercolor gallery, I realized that I don't have to confine myself to oils for the experimentation with the photograms that I have been doing (sometimes I can be a little...closed-minded about things). Hopefully I can finish the current painting soon so I can experiment with watercolor, acrylics, or pastels. I might even get some clay or something and try mixing some 3D artwork into it. I'll just have to see what I have the time and patience for.